March 5, 2004
Notre Dame, Ind. - Notre Dame sophomore Torin Francis (Boston, Mass.) will undergo surgery to repair a herniated disc in his lower back. The surgery is scheduled to take place in South Bend on Monday morning, March 8. His recovery is expected to take two to three months.
Francis has been sidelined since February 9 when he played just seven minutes in the 80-74 Irish victory over Connecticut at the Joyce Center. He also saw limited action (nine minutes) in a February 7 contest against Pittsburgh. Francis has missed Notre Dame's last six games.
The 6-11 forward was averaging 14.8 points (third best on the team) and a team-leading 8.8 rebounds before being sidelined with back spasms. Prior to the injury, Francis had played and started all 54 games during his career at Notre Dame. He owns career averages of 12.2 points and 8.5 rebounds. He leads the team with seven double-doubles in 2003-04 and has registered 17 during his career. Francis has scored in double figures in all but four games this season, posting season-highs of 24 points and 19 rebounds versus Northern Illinois. He has netted 20-plus points on five occasions and grabbed 10-plus rebounds eight times. Francis leads the team in field-goal percentage (.541) and ranks second in blocked shots (35).
Francis was the BIG EAST Co-Player of the Week on December 1 after averaging 18.5 points and 12.5 rebounds against Northern Illinois and St. Mary's. As a freshman, he earned BIG EAST all-rookie team accolades when he averaged 11.1 points and a team-leading 8.4 rebounds. In leading the Irish to the Sweet 16 at the '03 NCAA Tournament, he netted 17.7 points and grabbed 12.7 rebounds.
"We're happy that we have diagnosed the problem and are able to correct it through surgery," head coach Mike Brey says. "I anticipate that he is going to make a full and complete recovery and I look forward to having him at full speed when we begin our summer conditioning program in preparation for his junior season."